A History of the Aldershot & District Allotment Association
My interest in the early days of our Association was aroused when as Secretary, I had the opportunity to look at the documents held at our Solicitors and found an old rule book dated 1917. This date was at odds with the 1923 displayed in various places and I wished to know more.
The Aldershot Library has microfilm of the two local newspapers available at the time, namely, the Sheldrake Military Gazette and the Aldershot News. Communication with a wide membership was either by printing and posting documents or alternatively, publishing a letter/article in the newspapers. These articles are from both Council reports and reports from the Association.
Additional information was obtained from sources such as Kelly’s directories for Hampshire, various legal documents held at our solicitors including deeds to the land, expired leases to other land and old Rule books. The 1839 Tithe Map and its associated award together with minutes of various Council committee meetings were found at the Hampshire Record Office.
Surprisingly, the Association holds an almost complete set of minutes from 1950 to the present. Unfortunately, as secretaries change so do writing styles and some of the latter minutes are often too brief to allow a full understanding of the subject. Those for 1950/51 were handwritten.
I would like to thank James Lippiatt of the Rushmoor Borough Council for his assistance in locating and copying various deeds. Les Murrell for information about the Green event, John Raffle, Life Vice President of the Hampshire Federation of Horticultural Societies (HFHS)for the provision of information regarding the Hampshire Cup competition and extracts from their bulletins and Kate Powditch for her advice.
Items of interest have been placed according to the year the event and to reduce the repetitive nature of the history some information has been placed in tables as Appendices.
Appendix 1 – Officers of the Association elected at AGM
Appendix 2 – Additional maps, aerial photos, etc.
Figure 1 Allotments adjacent to the Recreation Ground 1910
Figure 2 Denmark Street Allotments
Although allotments were around much earlier than the First World War, the only evidence for pre-war allotments in Aldershot is two areas:
- An area at the corner of the High Street and Ordnance Road near the football pitch marked on the 1910 map Fig 1 which appears on an 1882 map described as ‘Soldiers Allotments Grounds’. An early title plan (pre 1856 possibly a cartoon based on the Aldershot Enclosure Award) showing a swathe of land from the environs of the Aldershot Football Ground all the way along the north side of High Street possibly as far as High Street/Hospital Hill junction marked “manorial allotments”. That land seems, subsequently, to have become Ministry of Defence land.
- An area of land at the end of Denmark Street shown on the 1910 map, see Figure 2. This may have been called the Recreation Site.